Good money habits are like exercise routines—the earlier you implement them, the better off you’ll be later in life. We’ve compiled the best money tips to follow today, 10 years from now, and every decade through retirement.
Even if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck situation, there are ways (many of which involve the help of free financial apps) that you can begin to develop smarter money habits. Something as simple as saving $10 every week into a diversified portfolio could have a major impact down the road. By age 65, you could have over $70,000 in that account!
All the tips we’ll discuss can be applied in your 20s. However, we’ve broken them out by decade to provide you with additional focus and help you hone in on the things you should be paying attention to at every stage of your life.
IN YOUR 20s…
BUILD YOUR EMERGENCY FUND
Save and set aside 3 months worth of fixed expenses before you do anything else. We mean ANYTHING ELSE. Not having an emergency fund is the surest way to never get rich.
More conventional firms might advise setting aside 6 months worth, but H.E.N.R.Y.s™ are #hustlers. This is your first line of defense, not your only one.
GET A CREDIT CARD
Don’t think of credit cards as free money. Think of them as a smarter way to spend the money that you already have. Use your credit card as if it’s a debit card that debits once a month (when you pay the bill in full and on time). If you don’t trust yourself to spend less than you should, use a free tool like Debitize that can help you stay accountable.
FICO HACK: Paying your credit card off more frequently helps to build your credit score. Pay your cards off every week or every other week instead of once a month.
PRIORITIZE YOUR DEBT
Work up to sending 20% of your net paycheck toward paying down any student loans or credit card debt. You can use lower your interest rate by looking into refinancing. If you use this link to refinance, SoFi will deposit $300 into your checking account. We pass on the entire referral fee to you!
IN YOUR 30s…
START THINKING ABOUT YOUR GOALS
As you probably figured out in your 20s, saving for the sake of saving doesn’t work. If you don’t tie your savings to a goal, you’re just going to move your “savings” back into your checking account and use it to pay bills.
So, save with goals in mind. What are you saving for? A down payment? A safari? A new couch? Whatever it is, set up a separate savings account for each goal and nickname each account.
MAX OUT FREE MONEY
If you can’t contribute any more than the employer match at this point, that’s okay, but don’t you dare lose out on free money!
Ex. A 30-year old making $60k and stashing 3% into a 401(k) can grow to be around $310,000.
If our employer matches 100% of that 3%…you’re now looking at around $620,000!!!
IN YOUR 40s…
HAVE DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR PARENTS
As the saying goes, “the best time to plan is before you need one.” You don’t want to be caught off guard. A lot of our clients use the Stash Plan® as an excuse to ask the awkward questions: have they saved enough for retirement? Do they have an estate plan? Have they updated their will (to include grandkids, etc.)?
WORK WITH A PROFESSIONAL
At this point in life, you’re probably going to want to seek professional guidance because you probably have a bit of catching up to do.
The same way you might need a personal trainer to help with your fitness goals, you may need a financial advisor to help you with your money. When you’re in your 40s, you don’t have time to waste. Hiring a professional to help you get on track (and stay there) is a smart investment.
Recently, we sat down with the crew at SiriusXm’s Wake Up With Taylor show to discuss our top money by the decade. Click below to listen!